Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC)

About This Program

Target Population: Foster, adoptive, and kinship caregivers of children or adolescents of all ages (0-21 years)

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 21

Program Overview

The Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC) (officially titled Caring for Children Who Have Experienced Trauma: A Workshop for Resource Parents) is an eight-module workshop designed to educate resource parents on the effects of trauma on the children in their care. The workshop is led by a professional facilitator and a co-facilitator with lived experience as a resource parent. The RPC features activities in each module where caregivers apply the concepts learned to a child currently placed in their home. Each module also includes interactive group activities and discussions to promote shared learning.

The content of RPC is centered on nine Essential Elements of Trauma-Informed Parenting. The Essential Elements are centered around recognizing trauma’s impact, understanding and providing physical and psychological safety, understanding and managing difficult behaviors and emotions, respecting and promoting relationships, developing a strengths-based life story, practicing advocacy, promoting trauma-informed services, and practicing parent self-care.

Program Goals

The goals of the Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC) are:

  • Increase knowledge and beliefs related to trauma-informed parenting; i.e., viewing their children’s behaviors through the lens of their difficult past experiences and responding to challenging behaviors and emotions in a way that promotes healing
  • Increase ability to tolerate challenging behaviors, and as a result, maintain stable placements for children in foster, adoptive, and kinship care
  • Increase feelings of efficacy about ability to parent a child who has experienced trauma
  • Become more aware of the importance of self-care and connect with other resource parents as a support network

Essential Components

The essential components of the Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC) include:

  • Delivered in group setting (recommended group size of 8-30) in various locations (usually office-based or in other training/community venues)
  • Delivered to resource parents (foster, adoptive, kinship caregivers) with children currently placed in their home (i.e., in-service training rather than pre-service)
  • Led equally by two facilitators:
    • a mental health/child welfare provider with expertise in child traumatic stress, child development, and behavior management
    • an individual with lived experience as a resource parent
  • Contains eight modules to be conducted across multiple sessions. The topics of the eight modules are as follows:
    • Module1: Welcome & Introductions
    • Module 2: Trauma 101
    • Module 3: Understanding Trauma’s Effects
    • Module 4: Building a Safe Place
    • Module 5: Dealing with Feelings and Behaviors
    • Module 6: Connections and Healing
    • Module 7: Becoming an Advocate
    • Module 8: Taking Care of Yourself
  • Includes interactive activities and discussions to promote social learning/group support and enhance application of content to child in home (e.g., “My Child Worksheet” activity in each module)
  • Specifically focuses on trauma-informed parenting

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC) directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Resource parents needing understanding of the impact of trauma on development, including symptoms of traumatic stress, difficulties in regulating emotions, challenging behaviors, difficulty in forming relationships, and other functional impairments (e.g., school problems); parents experiencing caregiver stress including secondary traumatic stress and compassion fatigue

Recommended Intensity:

The format of the curriculum allows for flexible administration; however, guidelines suggest it is best delivered over the course of multiple weeks in order to allow for application of content. The recommended total amount of instructional time is 12 to 16 hours. If administered weekly, sessions may last 1.5-2.5 hours.

Recommended Duration:

Recommended duration is 4-8 weeks, although duration is intended to be flexible based on program need.

Delivery Settings

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Community Agency
  • Community Daily Living Settings
  • Outpatient Clinic

Homework

Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC) includes a homework component:

Resource parents are encouraged to apply “Big Ideas” from each module with their children at home between each session. Individual facilitators may assign additional homework assignments.

Languages

Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC) has materials available in a language other than English:

Spanish

For information on which materials are available in this language, please check on the program's website or contact the program representative (contact information is listed at the bottom of this page).

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

A computer that can display a PowerPoint presentation, projector, a marker board or flipchart, supplies for specific activities as listed in the manual (e.g., index cards, sandwich bags), room space to comfortably accommodate participants, and possibly the ability to provide meals and childcare to promote parent engagement

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

Staff facilitators - a Master’s degree or higher in Social Work, Psychology, or a related field is preferred. Facilitators may be mental health clinicians, child welfare workers (including, but not limited to, foster care licensing and child protection services), or therapeutic foster care workers. Facilitators should have sound knowledge base of child traumatic stress and will find it helpful to have experience either providing or participating in providing evidence-based trauma-informed treatment with children and families exposed to trauma, including trauma-informed psychoeducation to parents.

Family partner co-facilitators should have lived experience as a resource parent. There are no specific educational requirements, although they should be comfortable sharing their personal experiences with a group, and have a trauma-informed perspective.

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
  • National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN)
Training is obtained:

Training can be obtained in a variety of ways, depending on the needs and experience of the prospective facilitator. Some states and regions have formal training programs and state-wide requirements in place and some do not. For more information about this, contact the NCTSN at training@nctsn.org.

Number of days/hours:

There are no specific requirements regarding number of days or hours of training. Depending on the format of training, hours may vary widely. Training activities may include a combination of the following: observation of a workshop led by experienced facilitator/co-facilitator, didactic instruction, coaching during practice sessions or following live workshops, consultation, and independent study. The NCTSN hosts monthly free consultation calls with experienced facilitators see https://learn.nctsn.org/RPC for additional information about dates, times and selected topics. Please contact the NCTSN at training@nctsn.org with additional questions.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Sullivan, K. M., Murray, K. J., & Ake, G. S. (2016). Trauma-informed care for children in the child welfare system: An initial evaluation of a trauma-informed parenting workshop. Child Maltreatment, 21(2), 147-155. doi:10.1177/1077559515615961

Type of Study: One-group pretest-posttest
Number of Participants: 159

Population:

  • Age — 24-77 years (Mean=48 years)
  • Race/Ethnicity — 58.7% White/Caucasian, 37.4% African American, 1.3% Asian, 1.3% Latino, and 1.3% multiracial
  • Gender — 69% Female and 31% Male
  • Status — Participants were resource parents (adoptive, foster, and/or kinship).

Location/Institution: 19 counties in North Carolina

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This purpose of this study is to examine participant acceptance and satisfaction and changes in caregiver knowledge and beliefs related to trauma-informed parenting in Caring for Children who Have Experienced Trauma, also known as the Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC). Measures utilized include self-report on basic demographic information about themselves and the children in their care, the Resource Parent Knowledge and Beliefs survey, Trauma-Informed Parenting (TIP) scale, the Tolerance of Misbehavior (TOM), the Parenting Self-Agency Measure (PSAM), the Postworkshop satisfaction survey (PWSS), and the Module evaluations. Results demonstrate that kinship and nonkinship caregivers showed significant increases in their knowledge of trauma-informed parenting and their perceived self-efficacy parenting a child who experienced trauma. Nonkinship caregivers increased on their willingness to tolerate difficult child behaviors, whereas kinship caregivers did not show a significant change. Participants also demonstrated high levels of satisfaction with the workshop. Limitations include lack of a control group, lack of randomization of participants, and lack of follow-up.

Length of postintervention follow-up: None.

Gigengack, M. R., Hein, I. M., Lindeboom, R., & Lindauer, R. J. L. (2017). Increasing resource parents’ sensitivity towards child posttraumatic stress symptoms: A descriptive study on a trauma-informed resource parent training. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. Advance online publication. doi:10.1007/s40653-017-0162-z

Type of Study: One-group pretest-posttest
Number of Participants: 108

Population:

  • Age — Caregivers: Not specified; Children: Mean=9.8 years
  • Race/Ethnicity — Not specified
  • Gender — Caregivers: 76% Female and 32% Male, Children: 53% Male and 38% Female
  • Status — Participants were resource parents (adoptive, foster, and/or kinship).

Location/Institution: Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Summary: (To include comparison groups, outcomes, measures, notable limitations)
This purpose of this study is to examine resource parents’ perceived upbringing stress in caring for their foster child, and child posttraumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) before entering the Resource Parent Curriculum (RPC), after completing the RPC, and at six-month follow-up. Measures utilized include self-report on basic demographic information about themselves and the children in their care, the Burden of Upbringing Questionnaire (Opvoedingsbelastingvragenlijst (OBVL), and the Children’s Revised Impact of Event Scale (CRIES) parental version. Results show an increase in recognition of child PTSS and a decrease in resource parents’ experienced upbringing stress and child PTSS over time. Limitations include lack of a control group, lack of randomization of participants, and small sample size.

Length of postintervention follow-up: 6 months.

Additional References

Sullivan, K., Murray, K., Ake, G., Kane, N., & Priesler, J. (n.d.). Everything you need to know before implementing RPC. Retrieved from https://www.ccfhnc.org/programs_66_2274227261.pdf

UNC-CH School of Social Work, Family and Children's Resource Program. (2013). Trauma-informed parenting: What you should know. Fostering Perspectives, 18(1). Retrieved from http://fosteringperspectives.org/fpv18n1/know.htm

Contact Information

Cathryn Chiesa
Agency/Affiliation: National Center for Child Traumatic Stress
Website: www.nctsn.org/resources/resource-parent-curriculum-rpc-online
Email:
Phone: (919) 682-1552

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: May 2018

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2018

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2018